Girl Scout Cookies Fund Planned Parenthood-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Pro-life activists say Girl Scout cookie sales benefit Planned Parenthood and have called for a boycott.

The Truth:

Girl Scout cookies don’t fund Planned Parenthood.

Also, contrary to many allegations, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), the national organization, doesn’t have a relationship with Planned Parenthood.  Some regional Girl Scout councils have, however, partnered with Planned Parenthood to provide sex education in the past.

The first call for a Girl Scout cookie boycott came in 2004 from Pro-Life Waco, a Texas-based pro-life organization. The group became angry when a local council offered a sex education program in partnership with a Planned Parenthood office in Waco.

The confrontation led to a showdown between leaders of Pro-Life Waco and then-Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Kathy Clonginger on the “Today” show in March 2004. In a transcript of the exchange, Clogninger defended the council’s decision:

The Girl Scouts in Waco, Texas, really made a decision based on local community context, they decided that in this particular situation that it would be in the best interest of girls and their families to discontinue the relationship with Planned Parenthood. Girl Scouts is the largest voice for, and advocate for girls across the country. Know that girls grow up with very complex issues facing them. And so we do, across the country, tackle the issues of human sexuality and body image and all of the thing that’s girls are facing. And we partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.

…It’s really impossible for girls to grow up in today’s society with out having access to good information. We will continue to partner with organizations across this nation, and local community Girl Scouts will make decisions based on their local community partnerships and the needs of their girls and their families.

Clonginger didn’t acknowledge a national partnership between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood, and there’s no evidence that there ever was one.

GSUSA says that the national chapter “does not take a position to develop materials” or programs regarding human sexuality, birth control or abortion. Rather, those decisions are made at the local level by parents, volunteers and council members:

Parents or guardians make all decisions regarding program participation that may be of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, GSUSA directs councils, including volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.

In 2014, GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chavez denied a national relationship between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood in a YouTube video:

We do not now, nor have we ever, had a relationship with Planned Parenthood. Girl Scouts of the USA believes that reproductive issues are deeply private matters, best left to families. I find it unsettling that anyone would use the Girl Scout brand to have very adult conversations. A box of Girl Scout cookies is not a political statement; it’s an investment in a little girl…

Given Clonginger’s earlier remarks, Chavez’s statement has caused some confusion. The simple explanation is that Clonginger acknowledge local “relationships” between councils and Planned Parenthood while Chavez denied a national partnership between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood.

There’s also been some confusion about where money from Girl Scout cookie sales go. A sale proceeds from local troops stay within local councils. GSUSA doesn’t get a cut of the revenue, but it does get licensing royalties from bakers of the cookies:

Girl Scout troops and groups must pool their proceeds to pay for program supplies, activities, and group travel. Girl Scouts may not earn proceeds as individuals; however, Girl Scout councils offer a wide variety of recognition items, program- and store-related credits, and travel experiences that girls are eligible to earn individually based on their sales. All troop proceeds and other rewards earned through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program must be used to enhance each girl’s Girl Scout experience.

Each Girl Scout council releases an annual report each year. The only way to know how your local council spends those dollars is to review its annual report, or to ask a local staff member.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Be informed: What Girl Scouts USA does with their cookie ‘dough’

As Girl Scouts USA begins its annual cookie sale, I am asking you to consider what the organization supports with all that dough.
Christy Volanski is the mother of two former Girl Scouts who created the website Speak Now Girl Scouts to expose the link between the group and the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
Recently, Christy wrote a very telling article for LifeNews, What Every Pro-Lifer Needs to Know About The Girl Scouts’ Link to Planned Parenthood.
As Christy clearly outlines in her article, “GSUSA will try to assure you that all the proceeds from cookie sales stay local to benefit girls in their community.” What they fail to mention is that GSUSA makes millions of dollars each year through licensing fees paid by the baker. It’s money like this that goes to promote the Girl Scout’s partnership with Planned Parenthood.
Just this month, the Girl Scouts came under fire for tweeting a link to a news story and video that praises pro-abortion Texas state senator Wendy Davis (D-Texas.)
It’s hard to say no to those little girls in the green and brown sashes, but buying Girl Scout cookies serves only to further facilitate a very liberal pro-abortion agenda.
When they knock on your door, just say, “No, thank you.” No explanation is needed.


Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association